I have been doing a poetry activity with a grade 3/4 class this week inspired by the collection of poems by Mary O’Neill titled Hailstones and Halibut Bones. All the poems in the book are about a colour and are listy-type poems describing what each colour looks, smells, sounds, tastes, and feels like. There is a nice (but not intimidating) combination of literal and metaphorical examples in each poem.
After reading a few of the poems to the class I asked them to divide their paper into four quadrants. Each quadrant was then labeled with one of the five senses (they would choose 4 of 5 in total.) They selected their preferred colour and wrote it at the top of the page as a title. This became our brainstorming page. Students tried to come up with four or five things for each category. As they started to lose steam, I read them a few more of the poems, which they could hear with more attuned ears now that they were getting ready to write their own.
Once most of the class had at least three or four things in each quadrant (ie. three things yellow smells like, four things yellow tastes like, etc) they turned the page over and used their brainstormed ideas to construct their own colour poem.
We will type them when they’re done (which will act as an additional ‘draft’) and post them around the library among the Kandinsky-inspired artwork created by another class.